BAFTA has announced that award-winning game designer and artist Brenda Romero will be presented with the Special Award at the British Academy Games Awards on Thursday 6th April 2017, in recognition of her creative contribution to the industry.

BAFTA’s Special Award recognises an individual for their creative contribution to the industry and will be presented to Brenda for her illustrious career in game design, her advocacy for the art and creative process behind game-making, and her commitment to encouraging the next generation of talent in the industry.

Nick Button-Brown, Chair of BAFTA’s Games Committee, said: “Brenda is such a great role model for people wanting to enter the industry and her advocacy for the excellence of creativity within the Games industry helps us all. Given the work that BAFTA does on helping people get into the games industry, having Brenda as such an eloquent advocate is fantastic.

Brenda Romero said: “I am first and foremost grateful to BAFTA for recognising the artistic potential and power of games. This recognition is culturally critical for games overall. So for that, I am profoundly thankful. As for me? Genuinely, I am still in a state of shock, having been chosen. I’ve devoted my life to games – making them, teaching them, playing them – and to receive any honour from the community is incredible. But a BAFTA? It’s well beyond anything else.”

Brenda Romero first entered the video game industry in 1981. As a designer, she has worked on 47 games and contributed to many seminal titles, including the Wizardry and Jagged Alliance series, titles in the Def Jam franchise and the BAFTA-winning Ghost Recon and Dungeons & Dragons series.

Her analogue series of six games, The Mechanic is the Message, has drawn national and international acclaim, particularly Train and Siochán Leat (The Irish Game) which is presently housed in the National Museum of Play.

In 2013, she was named one of the top 10 game developers by Gamasutra.com and Develop magazine listed her among the 25 people who changed games in that year. In 2014, she received a Fulbright award to study Ireland’s game industry, academic, and government policies. In 2015, she won the coveted Ambassador’s Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards. This year, she will be awarded the 2017 Development Legend at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards.

Romero co-owns Romero Games based in Galway and is Program Director at the University of Limerick MSc in Game Design & Development.

The British Academy Games Awards will take place on Thursday 6 April at Tobacco Dock, London. The awards will be preceded by a Champagne Taittinger reception and followed by a seated dinner and after-party for guests. Public tickets are available at www.bafta.org/games/awards/tickets.

On the night, the ceremony will be streamed live at twitch.tv/bafta. BAFTA’s website will feature red carpet highlights, photography and winners’ interviews, as well as dedicated coverage on its social networks including Facebook (/BAFTA), Twitter (@BAFTAGames / #BAFTAGames), Instagram and Snapchat.

The British Academy Games Awards are supported by industry partners Electronic Arts, GAME, SEGA Europe Ltd., Tencent Games and Ubisoft Entertainment with ME London Hotel the official hotel partner.

BAFTA curates a year-round global programme of events and initiatives that support the games industry. This includes developer talks, showcases, debates, scholarships and professional network, and masterclass programme BAFTA Crew Games, as well as the flagship Games Lecture by an inspirational practitioner. BAFTA Young Game Designers (YGD) gives young people and educators insights into the industry and access to the brightest creative minds in games. Applications for YGD are now open.

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